The disposable income in most rural counties is below the state average according to the latest data from the Central Statistics Office (CSO).

The CSO has today (February 24) released its report – County Incomes and Regional GDP 2018.

Commenting on the release, statistician John Milne said: “Dublin incomes continued to rise above the average in 2018. People in Dublin earned 17% more than the average state income and 6% more than those in Kildare which had the second highest income level at 10% above the average.

Dublin, Kildare, Limerick, Wicklow, Meath and Cork in that order are the only counties where per capita disposable income exceeded the state average of €21,270 in 2018.

At the other end of the spectrum, some counties have never had per capita disposable income greater than the state average during the entire period 2004 to 2018.

Regional overview

“The gap between the maximum and minimum value of per capita disposable income, on a regional basis, increased from €6,430 in 2017 to €7,578 in 2018, due to Dublin regional incomes increasing by €1,348 (5.7%),” Milne added.

Those of the lowest region – border – increased by only €199 (1.2%) to €17,391. Incomes in the midlands region dropped by €420 between 2017 and 2018 to €17,389.

Total household income is defined as primary income plus social transfers. Disposable household income is then this household income less taxes.

In the counties of Dublin, Kildare, Galway, Limerick and Cork, total primary income noticeably exceeded disposable income in 2018. These are the counties with high employment rates according to the results of the 2016 Census.

Dublin continues to remain the only region with higher per capita disposable income than the state average during the entire 2009-2018 period while the border and west regions continue to earn significantly less than the state average.

In contrast, the mid-west and the mid-east regions showed incomes on a par with the state average during the same period.